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How Are Planes Decommissioned, and How Much Value Can Be Salvaged From Their Parts?
The huge hunks of metal that soar across our skies don’t fly forever. There comes a time when every airplane has to be permanently grounded. How long do jets last? Where do they go after they’ve made their final landing? And how much do secondhand parts sell for? On average, an aircraft is operable for about 30 years before it has to be retired. A Boeing 747can endure about 35,000 pressurization cycles and flights roughly 135,000 to 165,000 flight hours before metal fatigue sets in. 747s are retired after approximately 27 years of service. Early wide-body planes, like the Lockheed Tri-Star, have shorter lifespans, lasting an average of 24 years.
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